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Triad, Part Two

Reply to Gale

Posted to the Roswell Slash list September 11,2000

TITLE: Triad (2/7)
AUTHOR: Gale Dumont
EMAIL:'m fully prepared for flames on this one.
DISCLAIMER: The WB would never do anything this much fun with them. Thank God for fanfic, huh?
SUMMARY: Liz and Max and Michael. Oh my.
RATING: NC-17. Hoo boy, is it ever.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Inspired, at least in part, by Sandy's "An Unlikely Trio", as well as a few nasty thoughts Miranda put in my head and my occasional love of UC. Also, this isn't related to any of my other stories. Purely a one-shot. (As if I could top this. Shyeah.)
SOUNDTRACK: "Addicted" by Faithless, Janet Jackson's "Velvet Rope" album (especially "Go Deep", "I Get So Lonely", "Got 'Till It's Gone" and "Rope Burn").
HUGS GO OUT TO: Miranda, as ever, who pre-read most of this for me. Top *this*, sis.

Liz looked up at the moon, hanging fat and heavy in the evening sky. The moon smiled back down at her, as if giving her blessing.

"Love the dress," someone in the crowd said -- which was weird, considering that no one in the crowd had a face, let alone a mouth. She gave a little twirl, a smile breaking her lips. Her dress was jet black silk, and decorated with stars. She could feel their heat through the fabric, their shapes burning into her skin, branding her with their incandescent beauty --

-- and that's when she woke up, feeling someone touch her arm. "Liz, we need to talk," Max said softly, crouching over her. "Can we go outside for a second?"

Liz peered at the clock. "It's eleven o'clock at night, Max," she muttered, rubbing her eyes. "I was in the middle of a really good dream --"

"It's important."

She looked at him, at his expression, and nodded. "I'll meet you out there. Just let me get a robe."


Five minutes later, they were standing on the roof, huddled together for warmth. Even with a terrycloth robe over her shorts and pajama shirt, it was still freezing. _Middle of December, and we're standing outside in a state with no heat after the sun goes down. Wonderful._

"All right," Liz said patiently, glancing up at him. "What's so important that it couldn't wait until tomorrow?"

"Michael kissed me."

Well, *that* wasn't what she'd been expecting. She blinked. "Say that again."

"Michael kissed me. Right on the mouth." Max shook his head. "He came into my room -- through the door, no less -- and started talking about how he was confused, and he didn't know what to feel. And then he kissed me and darted out the window."

"Uh-huh." She felt herself paling. "And why exactly are you telling me this?"

He looked uncomfortable. "Because...I liked it. Just a little."

There was a long pause.

"I see," she said finally, and took a long, shuddering breath. "Well, thanks for telling me. I appreciate your honesty. I'll see you around." She turned to go.

Max took gentle hold of her arm. "Liz --"

"What?" she snapped. "You wake me up in the middle of the night to tell me that your best friend is confused and kissed you, and you *liked* it, and you expect me to be all right with it?"

"No! I...I don't know what I expected." He took a few steps away and sat down, letting one leg dangle over the ledge. "I just didn't want to keep it from you," he said, looking up at her. "We agreed that we were never going to lie to each other. If I kept this from you, that would be a lie. I don't want that."

She said nothing, just steadfastly looked away from him. "Please look at me," he said desperately. "*Please*."

There was another moment's pause. She walked over and sat beside him, looking out at the town. She did not look at him as she spoke. "What do you want me to say?"

"...I don't know. I just wanted you to know --"

"-- that you're attracted to your best friend," she broke in, still not looking at him.

"No! I am *not* attracted to Michael. He's my friend, yes. I liked the kiss, yes. Do I love him? No, not romantically. I love you. I'm always going to love you."

"You can't say that for sure."

"Yeah, I can."

She spared him a glance at that. The look in his eyes -- Well. Maybe he could. That didn't mean she could just shrug and accept this.

"So what are you saying?" she said heavily. She suddenly felt about a hundred years old, not barely seventeen. "That you want our relationship to be open? You want to see other people? What?"

"No, I'm *not* saying that. It's just..." Max made a noise in the back of his throat and took gentle hold of her arm, turning her towards him. "I love you. I love you so much it hurts. You're my other half, the part I never knew was missing, and I will never stop loving you. But I can't deny that I liked it when Michael kissed me, and I'm not going to. You deserve better than that." He stroked her hair. "I'm going to talk to him tomorrow morning, see if I can't figure out what's confusing him."

She looked at him for a long moment, then nodded. "All right. I mean, that's -- that's good. The two of you should talk." She glanced back inside, though she couldn't see the clock from where she sat. "And I should get some sleep. So should you." She leaned forward and kissed him gently.

Max returned it eagerly, then smiled. "I definitely like yours better."

"I'd hope so." Liz stood and helped him up, then watched him climb down the ladder before heading back inside.

It was a long time before she fell back asleep.

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